Fur baby

Tomorrow, we are going on a 150 km round trip to Mareeba, to visit a Dog Shelter. We may have found a new member for our family.

This is the first time we have decided to go down the shelter dog path, and Max, the dog we will be looking at, is a cross between a Pomeranian, Staffordshire Terrier, and Chihuahua. He looks beautiful, all white, and is apparently good with kids, so on the face of it, sounds perfect for our family.

It’s been nearly 5 months since we lost our beautiful girl, Smudge, the Jack Russel Terrier, a dog that had been a part of my life, through good and bad (even the ex bad) for nearly 17 years. It is still in my mind, how we lost her, until she had her stroke, I had never heard of a dog having a stroke. But, despite all that, the memories of the joy she brought will stay with me forever.

Tonight, after I tucked Jack into bed, I went out and retrieved the dog carrier out of the shed, cleaned it all and reassembled it, as we had it in 2 parts, we used to use one half for Smudge’s bed, with a nice high loft pillow and a blanket inside. It is now reassembled, hopefully with no lingering scent of Smudge (I don’t want Max doing anything in it because of another dogs smell, if we end up bringing him home)  and is in the boot of my car. We, Mum and I, have kept it hush hush from Jack, as if we go there and he doesn’t fit us, then there won’t be disappointment, but also, it will be a hell of a surprise if we rock up to pick him up from school with a dog !!!

Anyhow, short and sweet tonight, I need sleep, last night was the second night in a row I have been woken around 4.15am, last night it was 2 cats brawling right outside my bedroom window !! The night before the smoke detector. Hopefully tonight it will be a good, full night sleep.

Andy.

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From the Photo Archives: Buildings and Man-made Structures – some of my favourites

I have been doing a major re-order of all my photography recently, and as such, have re-discovered a number of photo’s that I think are worth sharing with you. It’s been a useful exercise, most of my photo’s are now easier to find, and seeing I have been suffering so much with the fibromyalgia, it helps take my mind somewhere else for a little relief.

Well, enough of the gas bagging,  welcome to my show !!!!

2011 Portland Botanical Gardens Caretakers Cottage (2)

This first one is of the caretakers cottage at Portland Botanical gardens. I have a love hate relationship with this photo, as it turned out so well, but I hate how it’s postcard perfect.

2010 Cape Nelson Lighthouse

This one, and the next, are at Cape Nelson Lighthouse, near Portland, Victoria. The below one is the entrance to the lighthouse tower.

2012 Cape Nelson (5)2010 Merino

I love old abandoned buildings, this old Petrol Station just got me, it’s at a small village called Merino, in SW Victoria.

2012 Casterton

Jeffreys Cordial Factory, at Casterton, Victoria, the birth place of the Kelpie breed of dog.

2012 Portland Old Town Hall and War Memorial (2)

This is the old Portland Town Hall, with the war memorial in the foreground.

2012 Portland Whalers Bluff Light (2)

Whalers Bluff Lighthouse, in Portland, Victoria, a stout little lighthouse, because of it’s high elevation it doesn’t need to be tall, but very pretty.

2013 Heywood Railway Station

Another of the abandoned buildings, there are heaps of these across Victoria, this is the Old Heywood Railway Station, in SW Victoria.

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I believe this was a Lutheran Church, it is located in Heywood, and was one of my first attempts to photograph buildings at night.

2015 Bessiebelle (2)

A school bus shelter, with Jack as the muse, near Bessiebelle in SW Victoria. I call this “Waiting for the bus that won’t come”. There are heaps of these, sitting unused all over the place in Victoria.

2015 Bessiebelle

Another abandoned building in SW Victoria.

2015 Hamilton Skene Woolshed

Skene Woolshed near Hamilton in SW Victoria. Very impressive building, with solid bluestone walls.

2015 Morgiana

This is another old woolshed, but I don’t think much wool has been clipped here for a long time, this was at a locality (not a town to be seen) called Morgiana, in SW Victoria.

2018 Narrawong (5)

This was an old settlers shack in Narrawong, Victoria, just down the hill from my parents old place.

2016 Melbourne Exhibition Building (2)

The Exhibition Building, in Melbourne. I believe it is UNESCO listed.

2015 Melbourne (12)

Another Melbourne landmark, Flinders Street Station, with a modern Tram in front. I love the juxtaposition of this shot, modern and old, with a touch of AC/DC !!!

2012 Melbourne

Another building shot in Melbourne, I loved the difference in the old and new architecture. So much more style in the old, the other is just a boring box.

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This little boathouse is in a Memorial gardens in the Dandenong Ranges, east of Melbourne.

2015 Werribee South (2)

A wooden breakwater at the mouth of the Werribee River at South Werribee.

2019 Paronella Park (3)

And finally, a recent one at Parronella Park.

I hope you enjoyed these shots, I will get some more up in another theme when I am in the mood.

Andy.

Chillagoe, a bit of catching up

I hadn’t realised that I had been so tardy in getting these up.

We went on a big outing a few weeks back to Chillagoe, which is west of Cairns, about a 3 hour drive. It is an old mining town, mainly tin, but other metal ores were also mined around the place as well. It is also one of Australia’s biggest sources of marble.

Below, a few photos of the day………

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This is the site of the old abandoned smelter. Back in the 1990’s, when I first went to Chillagoe, you could walk right around those old structures, nowadays, it is all fenced off, with quite a well designed viewing area, and signage telling you all about the place.

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This is one of the 3 Chimney’s at the site, this was apparently the main on.

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This is a different perspective of the site, showing all three chimney’s the one in the centre was for the powerhouse.

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Even in the wasteland around the site, these beautiful flowers were trying to make a go of it.

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This was where the ore was crushed in the first stage of processing.

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A closer up shot of the powerhouse chimney, which was a different design to the others, it had flat sides, whereas the other two were round to the top.

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After touring the old smelter site, we headed a further 30 km northwest, on the hunt for fossils. Apart from a small piece of petrified wood, we only ended up with a few nice pieces of jasper. This is the Walsh River, beautiful cool and flowing water, and it is so remote out there, it was just serene.

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Another shot of the Walsh River from the road crossing.

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Red termite mounds and Brahman Cattle, you certainly know you are in Northern Australia when you have that view.

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It takes a fair bit of gravel road driving to get out to Chillagoe and beyond, and there are these amazing limestone tors all around Chillagoe. The dirt and dust, and the occasional 3 trailer Road Train is worth the effort.

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One of the truly massive limestone caves that dot the area. In the 1990’s we went into one called the Donna Cave, with all those stalagmites and tites, and they are amazingly beautiful, it’s amazing what happens when you just add water to limestone, and wait a few thousand years !!!

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The limestone ranges, with those red termite mounds that are synonymous with Northern Australia. I’ll leave you with the below closer shot of the scene above. This trip made me realise just how much I love the Savannah Grasslands and Woodlands across northern Australia.

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Andy.

Perpetual Zombie

One of the hardest parts of Fibromyalgia is the constant, and unending fatigue. Yeah, the pain is bad, its horrendous actually, especially when you find yourself in the situation I do currently without a GP. I have been without proper pain medication now for many weeks, because of the fatigue, I really can’t remember how many, because when you are suffering from pain and fatigue, each day, each hour, each week just melds together. ( I just checked the box, I kept the last empty box, and seeing I took it as directed by my doctor, it has been about 6 weeks since I last had any).

The fatigue is crushing. I have actually had solid 8 or 9 hours sleep at night a fair bit recently, but every morning I get up, it is a drag up, not get up. My brain seems to take at least 30 minutes to boot up, so I am in a daze, and thankfully, I seem to have mornings so down pat right now that I manage on auto pilot. (Except for 2 mornings ago, when I clear slept through my annoying alarm going off right next to my head for 45 minutes, only waking when Mum came in and woke me, and I managed still to get Jack to school in time !!)

Most days I wake tired, really just want to stay in bed, get myself going somehow (willpower, that’s all I’ve got) and then, once Jack is at school, I come home, and then fight myself not to go back to bed. Most days I don’t, today I did, and slept for 4 hours. I just couldn’t day, just couldn’t face it, just couldn’t do it. I gave up today.

It really sucks trying to struggle through EVERY day. I force myself most days. I don’t know if it is a good thing or a bad thing, but even though I feel out of it most of the day, I try and achieve something. I am successful achieving something the majority of days, even if it is just 10 or 15 minutes of some task. At least it is something. If I have a day like today, where I achieve zero, it is devastating on a mental level. I try not to have days like today.

Walking around in a constant fuzzy headed way is not fun, when it first hits you, in the early stages of the worsening phase of Fibromyalgia, you honestly feel like you are losing your mind. Eventually, instead of fighting it, you realise that just going with the craziness than ensues from having a fuzzy brain is so much easier. If I start saying something, and it begins to come out all wrong, I just go with it now. I speak gibberish just to make light of the situation. I am not saying I am crazy, I have all my mental abilities still, I’m not an airhead, it’s just that the body doesn’t always cooperate, and now I have decided that instead of getting all stressed out about it, I go with it, because stressing out about it will just make it worse. Getting over frustrated by it doesn’t help either. You will get frustrated by it, I still do, but I quickly snap myself out of it with a bit of zany.

Funnily, the only time I seem to not have issue is when driving, luckily. When I was younger, I could drive for 36 hours straight, and not once feel the need to sleep. I love driving, it gets me going, so maybe that’s why. The longest stint of driving I did was for nearly 42 hours. No, I wasn’t on Ice, Speed or any of that sort of stuff, I did smoke a bit of pot at the time though, but even that didn’t send me off to the fairies like it seems to for other people. I don’t have typical reactions to drugs like others. For instance, caffeine has this incredible ability to put me to sleep. Weird, isn’t it. It’s the same for all the drugs they caution you may make you drowsy. Never happens for me.

I really don’t enjoy being a Perpetual Zombie, but I have got so used to it now, this is the norm, even though it is far from normal. I can’t believe I can do the things I do even in this state, but I must say, I must have something amazing ticking away inside me that makes it possible. I said willpower, and maybe it is, I want to live still, and being able to contribute, how ever small that contribution is, to making a life somehow, is really important. Without that, what is there?

Andy.

Plugging away at keeping going.

It’s been a while since I last wrote, and I thought I better get back on the wagon, so to speak. I am also sleepless tonight, as I had all the signs of a flare up of the fibromyalgia earlier in the day, and then by 6pm, it was coming on strong. It used to be that I would get about 24 hours warning, now it seems to be about 6. My signal, that a flare up is imminent, is the delightful IBS.

Anyhow, I am always of the mind to keep my mind off of it. When I woke this morning, so exhausted that I seriously thought that after dropping Jack to school I would go back to bed, I instead came home, and levelled off the next bit of ground out the front, and planted the second Strelitzia we bought a few weeks back. I have a few plants to get in, 2 Heliconia’s, 2 Canna’s, a Lemon Grass plant, and half a dozen other things, that are supposed to control cats, ie, keep them out of the yard, well deter them anyhow.

The Canna’s and Heliconia’s were on hold until the fence which they will be going against was painted, and hopefully, by tomorrow afternoon, the fence will be done, I have 1 coat to go on the palings, the rest of it, posts and rails, are finished. Then, a whole heap of basalt rocks need to be moved, and then the area levelled and cleaned up, then the babies can be planted. I even ended up painting the steps in front of the shed with paving paint.

I never tackle these tasks in one hit, it’s just too much for my fibromyalgia, so, it may sound like I did a lot, but in reality, it wasn’t that much, and was fairly spaced out, so basically, I would do 15 to 20 minutes, and then need to rest for a good hour or so before tackling it again. It really sucks having fibromyalgia.

I can’t believe that only a few years ago, I would do heavy work all day, no problem, and then work half the night doing the same thing as well. I used to fit tyres and vehicle accessories all day, some times having to lift 100kg vehicle assemblies on my own, quite often whilst lying on my back, while fitting them back onto vehicles. Now holding a bag of shopping for any longer than need be is a struggle.

Anyhow, short and sweet tonight, I have a little adventure to write about soon, last weekend we did a nice 500km+ round trip for the day, and it was really an awesome day, so I will share a bit of that with you next time.

Andy.